Free Stuff Friday – Sew gifts for friends and family

Screen Shot 2014 02 07 at 9.27.57 AM Free Stuff Friday   Sew gifts for friends and familyIf you are ever at a loss as to what to make for friends and family, the book Sew Gifts: 25 Handmade Gift Ideas From Top Designers will give you all the inspiration you need. Packed with all sorts of sew-y goodness that anyone would be thrilled to receive. There are 25 projects all presented with a modern, fresh twist.

Answer the question below to be entered to win today’s giveaway.

What was the most memorable gift you made for a friend or family member. Or what was the most disastrous gift you made or possibly received.  Do give all the gory details on that one, please!

Plus, I  must announce the winners from last weeks FREE Stuff Friday plus, the Meet the Designer post featuring Jennifer Beeman!

For FREE Stuff Friday the winner is Debra J! She won the Amy Butler journal!

And for the Meet the Designer post the winner is Sandi G! And, she won the Mona Luna pattern, fabric and Scissor Buddy!

I will be in touch with you two ladies shortly so that you can send me your mailing addresses.

Happy Sewing!


 Free Stuff Friday   Sew gifts for friends and family

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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161 Responses to Free Stuff Friday – Sew gifts for friends and family

  1. The most memorable gift was for my mother in law. I had been hoarding this magnificent decor weight beauty of a fabric, I took the handprints of my children, my husband and myself and I appliquéd them all onto a homemade pillow. I thought it would be a sentimental gift as my husband is in the military and we are always too sat from family…so with this gift I was hoping she would touch the handprints when missing the grandbabies.

  2. Janna Taylor says:

    A few years ago I made a memory quilt for my mum for her 60th birthday. It took about 15 months to pull together, sending out squares to all her friends and family then getting them back and putting it all together. I had to take a little break when she came to stay after the birth of my first child, hiding all the bits at my mother-in-laws. It ended up over 2 meters square but I think it was well worth all the effort after she was so amazed looking over it!!

  3. Amanda Begelhole says:

    The most memorable quilt I made was for my daughter’s first Birthday. It’s called Ladybirds on Patrol, by Natalie Ross. I made it with the help of my best friend and her God Mother, Shezy. Even Daddy helped with choosing fabrics and placement of fabric so there is a lot of love in her quilt! Her first Birthday ended up having a Ladybird theme, and her quilt was on display for the day! She loves it! Its one of her favourites and I love seeing her have a picnic on it with her friends or snuggled up under it on a cold winters day while watching her favourite movies.

  4. hildy says:

    My best friend was working at a Whole Foods store in the produce department. In a magazine, I found a pattern for a wall hanging which used all fruit and veggie fabrics. I was so proud of it. I don’t know what happened to it because I lost touch with this friend and unfortunately, she passed away. I would have loved to have the wall hanging back, so that it would be a memory of my friend.

  5. Nadine in NC says:

    My most memorable sewn item was an olive drab overall I made for my son when he was young, many, many years ago. It had special Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle patch on it and a zip front. It certainly wasn’t the most difficult thing I’d ever sewn but it was just what he wanted. It seemed like every time it came out of the dryer, he was wearing it! The worst memory of a sewn item was a special appliqued cat vest I made for my sister (the cat lover). I spent many hours planning and sewing that vest, but I never saw her wear it even once.

  6. Marthie says:

    My daughter is living overseas for the last 13 years and on her Christmas visit to me last year she made me the most lovely quilt for my bed. All her love was sewn into this memorable quilt

  7. Patti Avery says:

    The most memorable gift I made was a quilt for my grandson when he was 2 years old. Turned out pretty good considering I never quilted before. My mom, who was about 82 yr. old and never quilted, helped me. We are now making one for my granddaughter, who is 3 yr. old and great granny is almost 90 yr. old.

  8. Maureen V says:

    The most memorable items I have sewed was a wedding tuxedo for a college friend and my sister’s wedding dress. My Dad could never believe that I had sewed the dress and hand sewed the sequins on the bodice and train. My children just found out about the wedding tuxedo when my college friend died about 4 years ago & they couldn’t believe I had sewed it either! My daughters’ prom dresses were other items that I enjoyed sewing. I’ve always liked to challenge myself with my sewing projects!

  9. LindaC in AZ says:

    I made some extra long ties out of wool for my extra tall brother-in-law. He loved them.

  10. tina says:

    About 3 years ago I knitted scarves for 4 ladies at work for Christmas. I am always happy to see them still wearig the scarves. The lost disastrous gift was many many years ago when I attempted to make a (green) lemon meringue Pie for my secret pal for st. Patrick’s day. The pie didn’t set and neither did the meringue. It was embarrassing. I expect if she ate it at all she would have needed a straw or perhaps a spoon. Unfortunately I did not have a plan B!

  11. Gretchen says:

    I am actually in the process of completing my most favorite piece. It is a quilt with blocks of fabric describing my son (or leftover pieces from clothing I’ve made him) and blocks that had sayings of his on it. I think it is going to be the most special blanket that I will own.

  12. Barb says:

    The most memorable gift to a friend was to complete a Quilt of Valor she was making her son. She had a pulled muscle in her shoulder and at phy. therapy she twisted the other shoulder. Unable to finished the quilt I was honored she ask me to complete the project.

  13. Sonya Kay says:

    I loved my dear Grandma Grace but on summer she wanted to make me some shorts. She simply took a pair of my shorts and quickly cut some pieces out of some fabric from her stash, sewed the pieces together and she presented me with new shorts. Sadly they were much to small for me to wear. So sad.

  14. Carol Adams says:

    It is very hard to say what the most memorable gift I ever made for my daughter – I sewed many, many things for her in her short 24 years. I do know that I was very surprised to find all of the sweaters that I had knit for her in high school in her closet when we emptied her apartment and also the Care Bear I made for her birthday when she was ten years old.

  15. Linda Brown says:

    A few years ago I made a pillow cover for my sister’s friend who had recently lost her husband.
    I took his favorite shirt with stain and all and made a pillow cover.
    The pillow looks like a shirt complete with buttons and the pocket and in this case, a stain. The friend cried when she was given the pillow cover.
    She will always have it to comfort her.

  16. Norma Jean McDarmont says:

    The item sewn that I was most proud was a white throw with the Beatitudes embroidered in gold on it. She has it hanging in her bedroom.
    The worst item was Eliza Doolittle dresses for two of my nieces. I had to go by the measurements that their mother and father got for me. Trying to get these little dresses constructed from made up patterns was a gigantic task. I finished them and sent them but I was not pleased with them. It is very hard to take a pattern and make a completely different style dress plus alter it as you go. I was so stressed when I got through, I stayed out of my sewing room for 2 days.

  17. Probably the most memorable project was to be part of a memory quilt. My girlfriend wanted family and friends to conrtibute a square for her 40th birthday. There were quite a number of participants and varieties of styles. I wondered how in the world these would look in a quilt. She gathered them all together and sewed them into a quilt. Because I also knew all the participants, it really was quite a story when put together. Loved it!

  18. Barb says:

    I made a quilt of all my favorite art materials, it has colored pencils on it and paint brushes. I entered it into our quilt show and won Judges Choice, that was such a thrill. From the pattern of the colored pencils I then made a wall hanging for my colored pencil teacher. She was so thrilled with it, it hangs in her studio now.

  19. Mary says:

    I have made many gifts over the years, but sewing blankets for my grandsons has been very special. They love the blankets and still use them. The first quilt I ever made was for my son – a transportation quilt. It involved machine quilting, appliquing and many hours of work cutting out pieces, etc. He loved it.

  20. Cathy says:

    Probably the worst gift I ever made was a pair of slippers for my husband. I traced his shoes while he was gone and then tried to adapt a pattern that was a lot smaller. I made them in a dark green suede-type fabric that was left over from another project. They actually looked pretty good….until he tried them on. I just giggled- the sole fit but everything else about them was big and misshapen. He wears them anyway. He pulls them on like socks and just slops around in them!

  21. Jenniffer Howling says:

    Most memorable is a quilt that I made for a raffle. It was only the second one I had ever done and was hoping that people liked it enough to want it

  22. Ann D says:

    My great granddaughter has a true love for Dora the explorer and last year for her 3rd birthday, I made her a queen size quilt. I don’t think Dora ever got as much love as that quilt has gotten. She sleeps with it every nite. The expression on her face when she saw it meant more to me than all the money in the world. Sewing and quilting are so much fun. Thank you for your helpful info.

  23. Karen says:

    Most memorable is a mermaid costume for my niece. She swam around the floor and carpet for hours!

  24. Cheryl Kirk says:

    I made a quilt for my mom and step father for a wedding gift. By far the best gift I have ever made.

  25. MelodyJ says:

    When I was a kid my grandmother made me a multiprint robe. It looked like a patchwork print. I loved it. I wore it until I outgrew it.

  26. Linda Halcomb says:

    The most memorable gift that I have made was an Easter dress with a lined jacket for my mom. I was in high school at the time. My mom rarely let me take her picture but she was so proud of that outfit that she modeled it for the camera!

  27. Cathy Rossetti says:

    My mom was always so difficult to buy anything for at Christmas. Whether I bought her expensive jewelry or a beautiful coat I could tell by the look on her face she was disappointed. An idea came to me to make her a doll with a christening gown, because as a child she never had a doll . I lovingly embroidered the gown and bonnet and added lace and pin tucks. I bought a china doll head and made the body. To see the look on my mom’s face was priceless. That was over 40 years ago. Now my mom is 90 and has the doll in the living room and always shows it to everyone. What a handmade gift can do!

  28. Karen K Wackus says:

    I took a quilting class when my daughter-in-law was pregnant with my first granddaughter. I got the baby quilt done in time for her to be brought home from the hospital in it. Imagine my surprise when she had the baby’s first hospital picture taken with my granddaughter lying on that quilt. She had already been a friend to me but this really endeared her deeper within my heart; she truly is my ‘daughter,’ the one I never had.

  29. Linda Phillips says:

    I made a bag for my friend and I pieced a house on the front of it that looked like her house! It was fun to do!

  30. Every time I start to sew a stuffed animal or small toy my husband will smile at me and say, “Remember the bunny?” When I was a young mother for my son’s first Easter I decided I would make a sock bunny. After all how hard could it be? Take an old sock, split it for ears, sew on face and split the legs. Stuff and add fluffy tail. Ha ha, that was the hardest thing I have every undertaken and I still haven’t attempted another to this day. It was hideous but still brings a smile to our face 30 years later!

  31. Peg says:

    My most memorable gifts are the homemade presents from my daughter and daughter in law!

  32. JM C says:

    My mom taught me to sew. Many years later I made her a flannel quilt and
    she just loved it.

  33. Denise Harbert says:

    I mad a Jasmine costume for a little girl that was handicapped and she was so excited she cried and her mother like to never got it off of her. Beings that she was adult size they couldn’t buy one for her. I have never forgot what that act of kindness did for that little girl.

  34. Janie says:

    I made a lap quilt with a pocket for a potato. My good friend and I have had a ‘thing’ going on for years with potatoes…one tries to outdo and surprise the other…this Christmas I made her a potato cooking pocket and covered a basket for assorted items…don’t you know, she gave me a store-bought potato cooking bag!

  35. Teresa says:

    My most memorable was my granddaughter’s christening gown. On the lining, I embroidered her name, birth date, christening date and name of church where it took place.

  36. Carol DeBoer says:

    My mom taught me how to crochet and I started right out making doilies. I gave these to everyone, friends and family. I never kept any for myself. Someone would see me making one and say “Oh that is beautiful” and as soon as I finished it I gave it to them. One of these days I am going to make some for myself!

  37. Nita says:

    I had a friend leaving the police force after a 30 year career. I collected pictures from her policing career, police shirts (washed, ironed and cut up for fabric). I changed the pictures to a blue and white hue (like Sepia tone just blue instead) and printed them onto fabric. I used the snowball block for the printed pictures and white triangles on the corners to simulate old photograph album style. I used the police shirt fabric and white cotton to make nine patch squares which simulated the police logo ribbon and placed alternate blocks into lines to form a single bed size quilt. I then edged it with a blue and white printed check fabric for the border. I gave the finished quilt to my friend at her farewell function. Everyone, including my friend, was amazed. Other friends have put their ‘order’ in for a similar quilt when they retire. It was a very satisfying gift to give a wonderful friend and to celebrate their great career and public service.

  38. carol g says:

    A little house on the prairie quilt for my daughter when she was about 8. (she’s 33) I look at it now and am horrified, but she loved it then and still does!

  39. Kristine says:

    I made a patchwork quilt out of bright prints for my sister-in-law, while she was recuperating in a nursing home.

  40. Cheryl A says:

    My daughter’s hand beaded silk wedding dress. She lived on the West Coast and I live in the Midwest. (Finding the fabric here, with her making the decision there is a whole other story! :) ) I had her send me her measurements and first made a short version of the dress in a fun Robert Kaufman fabric. That dress was mailed back and forth twice for fittings in her area (we were lucky to find a lovely seamstress through one of the embroidery groups I belong to). I then cut out the dress, rolled the pieces on cardboard tubing, loaded my sewing machine into carry-on luggage, and flew west 3 weeks prior to the wedding to sew the dress, veil, and petticoat. The “fun” part was removing all of the beads in the seam allowances of each piece of the dress prior to sewing LOL The dress was beautiful and people suggested I make a career of making wedding dresses on site … but I think not :)

  41. Peggy S. says:

    I am new to sewing. I received a sewing machine for my birthday(Oct. 29). So, for Christmas, I made all the children (8 of them) fleece pillows. They were a big hit! I now havethe adults asking for them!! :)

  42. Audrey says:

    I made angels that hung from tied hands…very cute, but time consuming. I was/am so thrilled when I go to the friends houses at Christmas and see the angels hung up in nice places. It’s been many years since I made them, but I think my gifts were a hit that year.

  43. Bettie Rushlow says:

    I think the most memorable gift I made was the digital scrapbook album of my family from the time my parents got married to present day. I gave a copy to my parents and each of my siblings. My dad actually cried.

  44. Janette Walker says:

    Most memorable was a wedding gift. My husband has a “brother” who was a foreign exchange student who never left. Now he is an American Citizen! He proposed on the beach in Bali, and had a beautiful beach wedding here in the states. I made the quilt Trade Winds for them in the Hoffman Bali Pops. As soon as it was unfolded they totally knew it was Batik fabric and reminds them of Indonesia and his heritage!

  45. Debbie Bell says:

    so many gifts ! hard question….I’ve made several memory quilts..but I’d have to say the most memorable one was a “memory” quilt I made for my brother and sister in law after my 9 year old niece (their daughter ) passed away. It was made from her clothing….and it is still is very much treasured.

  46. Cheri Saltmarsh says:

    My most memorable project was a black, red, white and grey Scotty dog wall hanging made for a friend. It was in memory of her beloved “Sissy” who has since passed away. It was made with a variety of precut Scotty shapes.

  47. Peggy A. says:

    When I was expecting my first child I tried to make a quilt from a cute pattern I found at the local fabric store. I had never made a quilt before. I got as far as cutting out the pieces. When my daughter was expecting her first child I dug out the pieces and finished the little quilt and gave it to her at her baby shower some 30 years later. Better late than never:)

  48. carole crafty says:

    For our church bazaar I make personalized gifts which people can give to their special people and also might like for themselves. It is a surprise when I meet someone and they own one of my creations!!!

  49. Katherine S says:

    The most memorable was the year I made Care Bears for my 4 children. I had started 3 for the 3 kids that were already in the house, but had not planned on doing one for the youngest who wasn’t born yet (this was in October and he wasn’t born until November). My husband asked why not make one for the baby also. So I went ahead and did a 4th one–Wish Bear. That child is now 30 years old and Wish Bear or just “Bear” is on his 3rd skin and still gets to live on the bed, not packed away somewhere. Bear was his confidant and alter ego all the years of him growing up. His finance thinks Bear is pretty cool.

  50. kathleen says:

    I made my daughter quilts for her three children. They are, 13, 10 and 8 years old, but the quilts will be with them always! I made my children quilts and they also have keep them. My daughters has dresses that I made them and my granddaughter has has worn them. I am working on a memory quilt, to honor my oldest son who was killed in a car accident.